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20121121
20121121
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profound effect. to explain how, let me take a detour into the air by spring. in egypt last year when the government shutdown the internet and shut down global service, many asked how are they able to do that. what does it mean that they can do that. it's a very important question. but let me focus on another important question that few people asked. how did egypt, to have an internet and a mobile service worth shutting down? the short answer lies in the most important policy accomplishments of the clinton administration that most people, present company excluded, have never heard of. world trade organization agreement on basic telecommunications. back in the 1990s, monopolies operated communication networks in most countries around the world, generally government owned or controlled monopolies. that was the world most of us grew up in. it was before the internet and mobile communications took off, and it's not a coincidence at the end of that world coincided with a take off of mobile and the internet. in any event back then in the '90s, leaders at the white house, at the state depart
, and they simply typed into the search engine the word egypt. and they got totally different responses. why? because there is that process going on, every time that we search for something on our laptop, we are not only gather information, we are getting information. we're getting information about what we buy, about what we find interesting, about what we like, about perhaps what our political biases may be, so that in theory a search engine that ought to be giving me objective information, and you and i ought to get the same information if we type in the same word, not so anymore. that's kind of scary. >> because somebody is making up his or her mind as to what it is that we want. >> it's not somebody. it is, it is a series of zeros and ones. it's a series of, it is the computer, what is the word i'm looking for? [laughter] algorithm, thank you. [laughter] it is the algorithm which is -- >> algorithm is defined, understand it exists, and i respected and i will salute it. it so there. but i want to know what all of that has to do with journalism? who gets up in the morning and covers somet
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